12th Annual LSU Fashion Association Fashion Show

The LSU Fashion Association Fashion Show is an annual event which boasts styled outfits, original garments, and collections made by undergraduate students in LSU’s Apparel Design program. In the show’s 12-year history it has grown to be a staple in the Baton Rouge fashion community, highlighting young and talented designers and their works before they officially enter the workforce.


The night was kicked off by the styling competition. Students selected garments from Time Warp, a locally owned vintage boutique, to compose a complete head-to-toe look. Following the styling competition was the Junior garment show. This show highlighted the best garments completed by juniors in their apparel design lab at LSU. The winner of this section (and the winner of a Brother/Project Runway sewing machine courtesy of Allbrands.com), Natalie Welch, floored the crowd and judges with her lively and colorful garments. “To me,” stated Welch, “my garments stand for spreading peace and happiness to loved ones and strangers. I used [bright] colors that creates an eye catching, bold statement to continue the anti-war movement started in the 1970s.” With two trendy two piece sets and a flirty mini dress Welch has developed, her award is very well deserved and we at Allbrands look forward to seeing what this young talent has to offer!


The Senior collection show, which immediately followed the Junior garment show, highlighted collections developed by Senior level apparel design students in their garment lab. The students were challenged to develop a cohesive collection of at least 3 garments. Throughout all of the 12 included collections, there was a very strong theme of embracing femininity in both conventional and non-conventional ways. See selections from each of the students’ collections below!


Carley Pere

Pere’s collection was filled with delicate fabrics and sweet baby doll silhouettes. “I was inspired by the freeness and purity of the female body,” reflects Pere, “so I wanted to make something that was flattering towards that.”



Courtney Childs

 Childs’ 5 piece collection was complemented by small flower details and pastel colors, featuring both two piece sets and dresses. Speaking on the inspiration behind her collection, Childs states she was “inspired by the picturesque vacations after long months of hard work; a decent holiday for the women that deserve it most.”


Mary Virginia Ayres

Ayres’ collection featured garments that empower women through feminine shilouettes with touches of menswear such as bowties and sharp collars. “It praises women who have been, and will always be, unapologetically female.”



Gabrielle Nolan

Gabrielle Nolan pulled inspiration from the eclectic go-go girl style with her brightly colored and iridescent garments. Sheer, iridescent panels combined with the vintage inspired silhouettes make for a collection of garments that seamlessly combines elements of yesterday and tomorrow.



Tommy Do

Titled “Collection 001,” Do pulls its inspiration from the common fetishization of the Japanese schoolgirl. By incorporating elements such as wet lamination, garment destruction, and “the binary of covered and uncovered,” he creates a futuristic, avantgarde uniform for the liberated woman who “embraces her femininity, youthfulness, and sexuality as a means of strength.”


Amanda Zaben

Zaben’s collection stems from her proclaimed love of the color black and simplicity in design. The evening wear collection features sophisticated, reserved silhouettes with small pearled details. “I was inspired by sophisticated women in the fashion industry, who tend to go for more solemn looks,” she says.



Jarithza Carlson

Carlson’s models walked the runway in the designer’s collection of evening wear inspired by her travels around Europe. Focusing on women of the renaissance and medieval period, she embraced their femininity and grace through “flattering silhouettes” with full sleeves and skirts. Her collection also incorporated light colors, flowing fabrics, and delicate embroidery detailing.


Katie Frost

Frost designed a collection meant to “empower anyone who chooses to wear it.” Her garments featured a simple black & white color palette as well as varying textures to create a very comfortable and natural look.




Jennifer Huddleston

Huddleston features garments primarily designed for children. Inspired by 90’s hip hop fashion, the line is a combination of hip-hop street fashion and modern design – featuring modern silhouettes and color palettes. Huddleston also designed coordinating separates for women, to create a “mommy and me” look.



Emily Hamm

Titled “Das Bin Ich” (meaning ‘this is me’ in German), Hamm’s collection features color blocking and vibrantly colored crochet elements. Hamm describes herself as “bold, vibrant, unique, colorful, fun, wild, and free,” and she mirrored those qualities into her lively collection. “I chose [the title] because my late Grams was German, and the crochet blanket and doilies in my collection were once hers.”


Angelle Jurasin

Sporting the only swimwear collection of the evening, Jurasin used color blocking and calming hues of blue and turquoise commonly associated with the ocean. “I have always had an infatuation with the ocean,” she said, “so I wanted to incorporate that love in a line of swimwear.”



Jillian Kieffer

Kieffer, the winner of the senior collection competition, pulled inspiration from small town America. The collection showcased oversized garments such as overalls, and dresses made of heavier weight fabric, creating a boxy silhouette. The garments also featured chunky patchwork and small embroidery details for an overall handmade aesthetic.

Allbrands Lake Charles proudly welcomes Sharon Smith and Cheryl Duhon

Please welcome our new Allbrands Lake Charles store manager  Sharon Smith

Allbrands Lake Charles also proudly welcomes Cheryl Duhon. Cheryl will be teaching classes at our store in the coming weeks. Please see our Lake Charles store calendar and weekly newsletter for class dates and details.

Cheryl Duhon

A little bit about Cheryl Duhon: Cheryl Grew up in a French Acadian family surrounded by wonderful men and women who created beautiful things out of fabric! She has a Bachelor’s Degree from McNeese State University and is happily Married for 18 years with 4 children ages 16-2.  Cheryl learned to sew in high school in home economics and never stopped learning or creating. She established her own business, Spool and Bobbin, LLC, to teach others to quilt and sew. Cheryl has an Etsy shop which showcases quilts and handmade clothing from classes that she teaches.

The Evelyn Quilt. 40" x 40" handmade star block quilt.

Here is one of her beautiful quilt samples. (The Evelyn Quilt. 40″ x 40″ handmade star block quilt).

You can visit her shop and see her creations at www.etsy.com/shop/spoolandbobbinllc

Please see our Lake Charles store calendar and weekly newsletter for class dates and details.

Allbrands.com Presents Fashion Association at LSU 11th Annual Fashion Show Junior Designer division Winner Tommy Do a Brother Sewing Machine

On Wednesday, May 10th Allbrands owner John M. Douthat, and AllBrands associate Courtney Douthat, attended the Fashion Association at LSU 11th Annual Fashion Show.

The event showcased the designs of the students of LSU Department of Textiles, Apparel & Merchandising.


AllBrands is a proud sponsor for the event, and also gave away a Brother SB170 sewing machine to the winner in the Junior Designer division, Tommy Do. He has just accepted an internship with Designer; Adam Selman, in New York this summer.

Welcome Ladies!

Allbrands.com is pleased to announce that we have 3 new store managers in our retail stores. Cathy Wright has joined our team and is the new manager of our West Avenue Store in San Antonio. Sheryl Bahena our store manager in the Houston Store decided to retire so we are pleased that we have someone just as friendly and knowledgeable taking her place. Margie Coxie is our new store manager. Margie was already working as a full-time sales associate in the Houston store.  Leigh Babin is our new store manager in our Baton Rouge store. When you meet Leigh you will know very quickly why she was chosen. Leigh always has a smile on her face and loves to have fun with our customers. You can learn more about each one of them below.

San Antonio, TX West Ave. Store Manager
Cathy Wright:

Cathy Shea Wright was born into a family of talented women, many of whom worked at the Lowell Textile Mills in New England. As Irish and French immigrants, these courageous souls toiled in the mills, giving their second generation an opportunity to receive a College education.
At the University of Maine, Cathy completed a Bachelors of Science, specializing in Clothing, Textiles and Design. Over the years, her love of sewing and quilting has evolved into her present role of Independent Consultant and Educator.
An award winning sales person for several of the industry’s leading manufacturers, Cathy’s work has been recognized and published. She enjoys teaching current and new owner classes for many of the top brands of Sewing and Embroidery machines on the market today.
Cathy resides in San Antonio with her husband, Kevin. They have two children; Wes and Kate, and son in-law Ryan. All graduates of Texas A&M University.

Houston, TX Store Manage
Margie Coxie:

Margie, was born and raised in Houston. She has always had a love for sewing and many different crafts. She had 16 grandkids between her 3 daughters and 4 sons. Margie and her husband Clyde live on a farm just outside of Houston. Margie loves being at the store and most of all, loves the interaction with her customers.

Baton Rouge, La Store Manager
Leigh Babin:

Leigh Babin was born in Mobile, AL,but  grew up in Fairhope, AL with twin sister and older brother. She graduated from University of South Alabama with degree in Business Mgmt. Previously Leigh managed the Fabrics & Crafts Depts. for Wal-Mart in Daphne, AL and later became a Real Estate Agent in Baldwin County. She also worked for Ascension Parish School Board at Lakeside Primary after moving to Louisiana in 2011.
Leigh enjoys spending time on the water, fishing, and boating. Leigh is married to her husband, TJ Babin and has two children; Bonnie and Nelson, and one grandson, Jason. She started sewing when she was 9 yr old and enjoy all sorts of crafts and sewing but particularly garment construction and machine embroidery.

Snippets of Sewing News – Guest blog by Joanne Banko

Guest blog by  . . . Joanne Banko

Hello to all my Allbrands friends!

It’s your sewing friend from Ohio writing with some snippets of sewing news for you to read and enjoy. Let’s start with a good sewing story shall we? I recently had a great conversation with my friend Denise Holguin, managing Editor at Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine. Last fall this premier publication celebrated it’s 100th issue! I know many of you have learned a lot by reading this magazine. I thought it would be fun to interview Denise so you can get an idea of what’s involved in producing each issue and see how Denise uses tools of the trade like placement guides, along with sticky paper templates, and target stickers to achieve the ultimate in perfect placement for her embroidery projects. These specialty tools are available for a multitude of embroidery machine models and of course you’ll find them all at allbrands.com!


To bring you behind the scenes for this story I wrote a blog post called Sew, tell me . . . You’ll see why Denise stopped playing tug of war when she discovered the snap style hoop and glean from her wisdom with excellent embroidery advice for both beginners and seasoned stitchers. She explained why Blue Hair Girl was born and how Patch Celebration was invented to commemorate machine embroidery moments in time. You’ll even find links to a couple free embroidery designs! Our conversation was meant to leave you with a smile and a good dose of inspiration as you progress on your own embroidery journey. You can CLICK HERE to read the entire article.

Now we’ll switch tracks to talk about an entirely different machine, what I like to call a sewing enthusiasts Best Friend! I’m talking about a serger!

Truly, this was one of the greatest inventions ever to be introduced into modern sewing life. I used my first serger at the very young age of sixteen. Now, we won’t count how many years back that was, but at that time sergers were big and expensive, used mainly by professionals. My experience with the serger came by way of a job in a custom drapery factory. There were no color-coded dials or how to manuals for that machine. I relied on experienced co-workers if one of the threads ran out or snapped.

Today’s sergers are so affordable and easy to use they easily find their way into the sewing space of even the most novice sewing enthusiast. Known for their speed and efficiency, these mighty machines can cut hours off the time it takes to complete a project and provide a finish that not only rivals ready to wear – a serger produces stitches that look exactly like the best in ready to wear!

Would you like to try your hand at creating a top notch T-shirt, stitched from start to finish with a serger? The official Brother blog has just posted a project I created to show you the steps for fast, flat construction. You’ll also learn how easy it is to use a serger blind hem foot for finishing and hemming all in one quick swoop with the serger. Complete instructions are available for you to make your own version. CLICK HERE to view this Serger Style T-Shirt Project.

Last but not least, I’d like to encourage you to visit the allbrands.com YouTube Channel. They have uploaded a whole bunch of It’s Sew Easy TV segments originally taped for the PBS show.


These short segments feature my some of my favorite sewing and embroidery techniques. Watch for more videos to be added in the near future!

I’ll say bye for now. I wish you all Happy Sewing!

Joanne Banko is a freelance sewing educator and a self-proclaimed sewing cheerleader. You can see Joanne’s online teaching segments broadcast on the popular PBS TV show, It’s Sew Easy, and online at www.itsseweasytv.com. She is a frequent contributor to Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine and author of the book Wrapped in Embroidery. The book is available at AllBrands.com. Visit Joanne at her Sewing and Embroidery website, www.letsgosew.com.


Deborah Jones Club Ed Embroidery Party is coming to Texas!


Embroidery Fun and Learning with Deborah Jones

$99.99 Registration Fee

Subway pillow

Discover Deborah’s secrets to getting great embroidery results while you have a blast embroidering on the most exciting projects at any event.
All materials, including embroidery machines, designs, etc., will be provided. We’ll have plenty of specials, door prizes and giveaways.
Each Student will get their own machine to sew on. This means NO MORE TEAM SEWING! We will also have plenty of staff on-hand to assist with projects.

If you’ve attended one of Deborah’s classes, you know how much fun learning about embroidery can be. If you’ve never been to one of her classes, you’re in for a real treat. Either way, don’t miss this exciting opportunity to spend two days with Embroidery Legend Deborah Jones. You will gain valuable knowledge, experience and leave inspired with new unique techniques, projects and memories. Most of all, you will make new friends……CONTINUE READING



Six Unique Projects!
  • Vinyl Pockets Pillow
  • 3D Foam Cap
  • Thread Diva Applique Tote Bag
  • Cuddly Nap Buddy Bear
  • Mylar T-shirt Shadow Work
  • Keepsake Handkerchief
AUG 26TH – 27TH
$99.99 Registration Fee

(see bottom of email for coupon code and details)


Family Tree Quilt by Allbrands Customers Charlene & Kathy Schilling

This beautiful Family Tree Quilt was made by two of our customers (Charlene Schilling and Kathy Schilling) for their Mother-in-law and Father-in-law 73rd Wedding Anniversary. They have 9 children, 28 grandchildren, 52 great grandchildren and 4 great great grandchildren.

“When we started this comforter we allowed room for growth. Each family was assigned a color with their family members with a lighter variation of that color. We had to adjust and add limbs accordingly. It took 3 1/2 months to complete it. In addition to the comforter we made pillow shams with our mother-in-law and father-in-law names on them. Then we made a heart pillow with all nine of their children’s names along with their wedding dates.”


New Series of the popular PBS It’s Sew Easy TV starts the week!  Watch Series 1100 – Always In Style

Guest blog by Joanne Banko

Hello to all my Allbrands friends!

I know that many of you watch It’s Sew Easy TV in Louisiana on lpb.org and elsewhere too!

So . . . I thought you would like to know that the new series starts Thursday June 23rd.

CLICK HERE to read my recent blog post with lots more information about the upcoming series and details about the new shows. And remember to visit your Allbrands retail locations for the machines and supplies featured on these It’s Sew Easy PBS programs.

I hope to talk to you again soon. Until then, I wish you Happy Sewing!





Joanne Banko is a freelance sewing educator and a self-proclaimed sewing cheerleader. You can see Joanne’s online teaching segments broadcast on the popular PBS TV show, It’s Sew Easy, and online at www.itsseweasytv.com. She is a frequent contributor to Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine and author of the book Wrapped in Embroidery, available at AllBrands.com.


Visit Joanne at her Sewing and Embroidery website, www.letsgosew.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/letsgosew


The first step to finishing quilts, is getting started!

Meet longarm quilter Donna Estes, a beginning quilter who has fallen for free-motion quilting after being encouraged by her daughter (Eugenie Decker/Allbrands Baton Rouge, La Store Manager). You may have seen her in your favorite quilting magazine, recently featured in an HQ advertisement.  Donna also teaches FREE MOTION QUILTING CLASSES at Allbrands. (see class calendar)


Donna EstesDonna was on the hunt for a new creative challenge when she was asked to make a top for charity. Thanks to a background in sewing, she was prepared to take on the task. Although she was not initially drawn to the process of piecing, the creativity found in finishing quilts quickly became her primary focus. Donna completed her first quilt in January of 2014 – she never would have guessed that only a few years later, it would be “all about the quilting”.

Learn more about Donna and her quilting at decustomquilting.weebly.com


Donnas-Quilt-800pxQUILT DETAILS

Fabric: Glisten Collection from Whistler Studios

Pattern: Seasonal Stars by Kristy Daum

Quilting: Free-motion quilting on my HQ Avanté®


Learn more about Donna and her quilting at decustomquilting.weebly.com

Donna also teaches FREE MOTION QUILTING CLASSES at Allbrands. (see class calendar)

Article source: http://www.handiquilter.com/donna/

Renee Fleming at Baton Rouge Symphony’s Great Performers Concert


AllBrands owner John Douthat with LSU student Louis Ong and Renee Fleming after the concert. Louis, a baritone from Malaysia stays at the Douthat’s home while he completes his bachelors and masters degrees in vocal performance. John asked Renee if it is true that singing to a baby before it is born will imprint the song for later recognition. Renee said research in Germany shows that it does! John and Annette’s daughter Yvonne Hartinger teaches voice at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and just had our first grandchild, so we’ll see. Yvonne’s husband Virgil Hartinger is a classical tenor who travels throughout Europe.

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Advocate staff photo by Pam Bordelon, Symphony Great Performers, At the pre-performance gala for the Baton Rouge Symphony’s Pennington Great Performers in Concert are sponsors, from left, John and Annette Douthat, AllBrands’ Scott and Leslie Berg, Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry; Julio and Debbie Dumas; Jack and Becky Harris, and Rena and Todd Ledet, Price LeBlanc Lexus.

See complete article http://theadvocate.com/features/people/15750593-70/music-headlines-the-previous-weeks-activities